The phone rang. Gerald picked it up, and then passed it to Reginald, who merely affirmed whatever was said before hanging up.
“Sherrif?” Ken said
“Yes.” Reginald said, “He just arrived and will be joining us shortly.”
While Gerald moved the guns to one side, Ken kept looking through the longarms. Old rifles, new rifles, common ones and a few rare ones all passed through his hands before the Sheriff entered the office. He took the last open chair and sat down.
“Sheriff,” Ken said as he set aside an old trench gun, “I appreciate that you want me to help. I appreciate that you’re in some serious shit, and that you’re working with Reggie and Jerry here to see that your men are properly armed and supplied. I assume that you’re training them also.”
The Sheriff nodded.
“So, since you’re involving civilians in this matter, and yet I see no evidence of deputization, I’m inclined to think that you’re not planning on arresting these guys.”
The Sheriff chuckled. “I’ve quietly put the word out to the right people, and we three formed a county militia once it became clear what the Feds and even the State was—or, rather, wasn’t—going to do about us. My men and I are the core of it, and a lot of the others are the firemen, paramedics and so on that we count on to keep accidents from becoming disasters. Mr. Haroldson organized several businesses into lending support, but he’s been the only one to be less-than-quiet about it.”
Ken looked over at Reginald.
“Have you now?”
“Indeed, Ken.” Reginald said, smiling, “Rams work best in groups."
"This county is popular with military veterans and outdoorsmen.” Gerald said, “We have a lot of households with three or more generations of military service, and a lot of people who like to be secure in their backpacking, hunting, fishing and so on. That’s why we’ve done as well as we have, and we may not look it but we’re quite willing and able to use the new tools to make things work better.”
“Yeah,” Ken said, “I remember. Reggie, you still own the county’s biggest ISP right?”
“And all of the cellphone towers.”
“Long story short-“ The Sheriff said, but got cutoff.
“Too late.” Ken said.
“We know that they’re coming to carve up our county and make it into a way-stop on the Zetas chain of dope-running from Mexico to Canada, and we know that the Feds are letting them come so that we and they get taken out.”
“So, we should expect Federal intervention?”
The Sheriff nodded. “More than that, my boy; we should expect Federal manipulation.”
Ken picked up the old trench gun and pointed that solid shotgun to the ceiling. He loaded some dummy shells into it, and then worked the pump to check the action. Pleased, he looked over at that old Sheriff.
“So, it’s war then? Fine by me.”